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Publisher's Summary

Winifred Rudge, a bemused writer struggling to get beyond the runaway success of her mass-market astrology book, travels to London to jump-start her new novel about a woman who is being haunted by the ghost of Jack the Ripper. Upon her arrival, she finds that her stepcousin and old friend John Comestor has disappeared, and a ghostly presence seems to have taken over his home. Is the spirit Winnie's great-great-grandfather, who, family legend claims, was Charles Dickens' childhood inspiration for Ebenezer Scrooge? Could it be the ghostly remains of Jack the Ripper? Or a phantasm derived from a more arcane and insidious origin? Winnie begins to investigate and finds herself the unwilling audience for a drama of specters and shades - some from her family's peculiar history and some from her own unvanquished past.

In the spirit of A. S. Byatt's Possession, with dark echoing overtones of A Christmas Carol, Lost presents a rich fictional world that will enrapture its listeners.

©2001 Gregory Maguire; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Maguire...makes the supernatural chillingly real." (Library Journal)
"A deftly written, compulsively readable modern-day ghost story." (Publishers Weekly)
"A brilliant, perceptive, and deeply moving fable about loss and a storyteller's ghosts." (Boston Sunday Globe)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Jan
  • Naestved, Denmark
  • 12-17-07

No action

This is one of only few books i have given up on. I am 4 hours into the book and absolutely nothing has happened exept from a knocking sound from a wall. The narration is no good either. Everyone exept the leading character sounds like evil goblins and it gets annoying after a while.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Eric
  • San Leandro, CA, USA
  • 01-24-08

Jumps Around alot

I finished this book through real determination. If you are expecting something on the level of Wicked you really need to look some where else. The story keeps flipping from Now to the past and the character of another story they all bleed together with a minor ghost story thrown in. If you really like stories that flip from Character t imes and events without warning this is what you want.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • A. Miller
  • KINGSVILLE, MD, United States
  • 06-07-14

Don't Waste Your Time!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

For starters, a narrator who doesn't sound like she just awoke; and a plot.

What was most disappointing about Gregory Maguire’s story?

I was four hours into it and still waiting for it to go somewhere.

How could the performance have been better?

Some voice inflection, maybe a difference between characters.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger that I wasted four hours and happiness that I didn't try to finish it.

Any additional comments?

It's not a book to listen to for enjoyment and/or entertainment; more like something to listen to if you want to test your stamina and patience. Way too tedious for my liking.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Extremely Disappointing

It took me about three weeks to finish listening to this, and I'm someone who usually devours an audiobook inside of a few days. The story is utterly, blisteringly dull, and the narration is often unpleasant. Maguire is on his game as far as the writing goes, but the tale itself feels pointless. The ghost story gives the impression of having been tacked on so the characters had something to do, and most of the large cast is ultimately uninteresting and irrelevant. If you want to good read a book by Maguire, get 'Wicked'. Only the sleep-deprived and masochistic should purchase this one.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting but disappointing.

I love this author and yet, this long and under edited story was frustratingly filled with scene after scene that did not move the story forward nor draw the reader in. The audible reading was awkward and jarring as it the main character was American and yet the narrator was British. That would have been fine except that she pretended American accents for other characters. Since so much if the story was inside the head of an American woman I found it hard to connect. Not just the accent but the delivery. Overall interesting, but disappointing.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story


Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Not really. I was expecting more from this author.

What do you think your next listen will be?

doctor sleep by Stephen king.

Which scene was your favorite?

When she found out if the baby survived and learned the truth about the death.

  • Overall

I didn't get lost in this book

I didn't like the narrator at all! She slurred her words and seemed overly dramatic. I also didn't like the way the book ended. What happened to the other characters besides the main character.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Brinkus
  • 06-12-09

A good story, spoiled by a poor interpretation

I believe I might thoroughly have enjoyed this book if not for the inappropriate stresses and accents employed by the reader. The tale itself with its allusions to Dickens and Victorian fantasies is intriguing, but the reader seems unable to exhibit any empathy with the characters or the narrative. I would be most interested to hear this book given a more sympathetic reading by another narrator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Elaine
  • 03-17-10

strange but enjoyable

this was an odd one, took me a long while to get into it and i was a little disapointed with the way it ran away at the end but the bulk of it in the middle was very good .